Embargo Broken: The NYT &

Go Set a WatchmanThe daily New York Times has just released a review by the formidable Michiko Kakutani  of Harper Lee’s Go Set A Watchman, which was supposed to be under heavy security until its release on Tuesday. It’s a review that will crush those hoping for another masterpiece.

Although Watchman is both a precursor, in that it was written first, and a sequel to Lee’s beloved To Kill a Mockingbird, in that it is set after that book, Kakutani says this is a much different story, and will leave readers wondering,

How did a lumpy tale about a young woman’s grief over her discovery of her father’s bigoted views evolve into a classic coming-of-age story about two children and their devoted widower father? How did a distressing narrative filled with characters spouting hate speech  … mutate into a redemptive novel associated with the civil rights movement, hailed, in the words of the former civil rights activist and congressman Andrew Young, for giving us “a sense of emerging humanism and decency”?

Kakutani does not reveal how she got the book.

UPDATE: USA Today also reviews the book and comes to a similar conclusion, “it’s troubling to see the great, saintly Atticus diminished.” but counters, “If you think of Watchman as a young writer’s laboratory, however, it provides valuable insight into the generous, complex mind of one of America’s most important authors.” USA Today also does not explain how they acquired their copy.

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